Which front 3 for $500 or less? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I've volunteered to help my sis/bro-in-law build a HT system. Out of the total budget given, I'm dedicating $500 for the front 3. They will be powered by a Denon AVR-1712. On my list ATM are:

1) SVS SBS-02 with a SCS-02 center.
2) HTD Level 2 bookshelves & center
3) Ascend HTM-200SE L/C/R

What other choices am I overlooking that are about the same physical size? Something which is easily wall mounted would be preferable since they have 3 larger dogs & stands which could take some bumping would probably put me over budget.

BTW, I myself currently have Ascend 340's across the front. I'd go with the 200SE's in a heartbeat, but I'm not convinced the 200SE is going to cut it for a center. I'd say ATM, the SVS trio is leading the pack.

Thanks.

-Dave
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Nobody? Throw me a bone or the SVS it will be.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 08:52 PM
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I'd put Hsu HB-1 MK2's on your list to check out as well.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 09:21 PM
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Your choice.
No bone - however, I like the HTD Level Two

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post #5 of 10 Old 05-01-2012, 09:31 PM
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The Ascends seem to be getting a good response here. I'm getting the CBM-170SE's to replace my aging Paradigm ADP150's surrounds.

Jeff
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-02-2012, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte View Post

I'd put Hsu HB-1 MK2's on your list to check out as well.

Already considered them, but the total price is over $600 with the shipping. Anybody heard both these & the SVS? How horn like are the horns on the Hsu? I'd be looking at a sizeable outlay in shipping costs if they don't like 'em. Might just get them anyway & throw in a $100 of my own money to make it happen.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-02-2012, 08:41 AM
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Here are a couple of threads that deal with the HB-1s:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1355638
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1344541

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-02-2012, 08:52 AM
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Why not Level Three bookshelf speakers? They can be had right at $500 for all 3 speakers. And they sell the wall mount brackets right there on the same page.

http://www.htd.com/Products/level-th...shelf-Speakers

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post #9 of 10 Old 05-02-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveHolland View Post

I'd go with the 200SE's in a heartbeat, but I'm not convinced the 200SE is going to cut it for a center.

Why do you think the 200SE isn't a workable center? From all I've read it seems as though it would do just fine.

Here are a few others that might be worth considering:

If you take yourself too seriously expect me to do the exact opposite
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-03-2012, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveHolland View Post

I've volunteered to help my sis/bro-in-law build a HT system. Out of the total budget given, I'm dedicating $500 for the front 3. They will be powered by a Denon AVR-1712. On my list ATM are:

1) SVS SBS-02 with a SCS-02 center.
2) HTD Level 2 bookshelves & center
3) Ascend HTM-200SE L/C/R

What other choices am I overlooking that are about the same physical size?

If size is an important consideration, then I think that the HTM-200 SE provides the most quality and capability in a speaker of its size (in your budget range), and it's substantially smaller than the other options listed. I'm not aware of any other speakers this small (and at this price point) that can do what it does (which is why I've been recommending it as a HTIB or small satellite speaker replacement when size still matters).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveHolland View Post

Something which is easily wall mounted would be preferable since they have 3 larger dogs & stands which could take some bumping would probably put me over budget.

I also have issues with using stands or tower speakers, so I went with three wall-mounted (actually room divider-mounted ) bookshelf speakers--Ascend CBM-170 SEs--across the front, and have been very satisfied with their performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveHolland View Post

BTW, I myself currently have Ascend 340's across the front. I'd go with the 200SE's in a heartbeat, but I'm not convinced the 200SE is going to cut it for a center. I'd say ATM, the SVS trio is leading the pack.

Based on their -01 version S-series, I'm sure that the SVS speakers will sound great, especially the SCS-02 center. That said, when crossed over to a subwoofer at 80 Hz, the SE version of the HTM-200 comes surprisingly close to matching the capability of the CBM-170 SE, and should be more comparable to the SCS-02 as a center speaker than its diminutive size would suggest. It even has some advantages over the SCS-02 as a center speaker, such as wider horizontal dispersion with less comb filtering, due to the much closer spacing of its midwoofers and the lower crossover frequency between its tweeter and midwoofers. In addition, the HTM-200 SE is more efficient.

As a front left & right speaker, I expect that the HTM-200 SE should clearly outperform the SBS-02 despite being smaller (when used with a subwoofer, that is). It is also far more efficient (by 5 dB, which means that it requires about 1/3 the power for a given loudness level).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Why do you think the 200SE isn't a workable center? From all I've read it seems as though it would do just fine.

I've helped install a system with HTM-200 SEs all around, and I think that it does fine as a center, sounding "larger" than its size would suggest. I know that must sound cliche, but it really is kind of surprising because the speaker is relatively small. It will reach its limits and start to sound a little "thin" in the mid-bass before larger speakers (of comparable quality) will, to be sure, but if listening levels, room size, and viewer distance are all more or less typical, it seems to hold up just fine, based on my experience (not extensive, but I've spent some time testing and evaluating it).

If there is any doubt, then ask Ascend Acoustics--they're rather frank and honest, I think, in their recommendations regarding their speakers. Or you could go with a CBM-170 SE center to be safe while staying within the $500 budget (I'd recommend a vertically-oriented center with this model); it's kind of big, but will still mount with a single OmniMount 20.0, for example (if you really crank down on it ).
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